May 16, 2013
The signing ceremony for The Project for Construction of a Teacher Training College for Secondary School Teachers was held on 16th May 2013 in the main conference room of the Ministry of Finance. The function was presided over by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Dr Ken Lipenga, MP and His Excellency Fujio Samukawa, Japanese Ambassador to Malawi. The college will be constructed in Lilongwe to the tune of JPY1,118,000,000 which is approximately US$11,180,000 at the current prevailing currency rates. The Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Dr Macphail Magwira also witnessed the signing ceremony.
In his speech after exchanging notes, the Japanese Ambassador described the signing ceremony as symbolic and that it was another milestone in the relationship between the two countries. The Ambassador informed the function that education is one of the priorities in the Japan's country assistance strategy for Malawi and that Japan recognises education as part of human resource development. He further informed the gathering that Japan will be hosting the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) in Yokohama in June 2013 and the President of the Republic of Malawi, Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda, will be expected to attend. While in Japan, the President of the Republic of Malawi is expected to meet the Japanese Prime Minister. Therefore, the TICAD V conference will provide a forum for further strengthening the relationship between the two countries. The Ambassador then pledged to continue to support various initiatives in the Malawi education sector in order to improve education in general and quality of education in particular.
Taking his turn, the Minister of Finance, Honourable Dr Ken Lipenga expressed deep appreciation to the Government and the people of Japan for the generosity even when Japan was facing economic difficulties especially after the tsunami disaster. The Minister reiterated that education was the key to achieving meaningful economic growth. The secondary sub-sector was facing a critical shortage of qualified teachers as most of the current teachers in the sub-sector are qualified to teach at primary school level. The need for a new teacher training college for secondary teachers is therefore enormous. Thus, this project will go a long way in improving the quality of education in Malawi as it will contribute to the increased number of qualified teachers. The Minister then promised that the resources that the Japanese Government has provided through this project will be used for the intended purposes.
Meanwhile, the Grant Agreement (GA) between the Government of Malawi and JICA will be signed in Japan during the TICAD V conference. The President of the Republic of Malawi is expected to witness the signing ceremony. The President of JICA, Mr Tanaka, will be expected to sign on behalf of JICA.
Left: Secretary of Education, Centre: Minister of Finance, Right: Japanese Ambassador